2025 Law and Policy

Strategic counseling and advocacy at the intersection of law, politics, and public policy​​

J Gordon Arbuckle

“Our advocacy approach emphasizes common sense, pragmatism, innovation and simplicity. “

Gordon Arbuckle was there at the beginning of the Patton Boggs law firm –widely known as the Nation’s premier advocacy practice and the pioneer of the concept that effective advocacy requires effective engagement in all of the areas where decisions are made—legislatures, the executive, administrative agencies and the courts and at all governmental levels.  His practice, since 1967, has been predicated on this approach – dealing with Congress, most of the administrative agencies, the executive and a number of the states. The practice has focused most intensively on the conception, authorization, financing and development infrastructure projects.  He is well known for his pioneering role in some of the United States’ more complex and historic energy projects, including the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the LOOP offshore oil port, the first Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline project and the world’s first Deep Seabed Mining Project. He has represented Sovereigns and Sovereign-owned energy companies in their relations with the major international oil companies and other investors interested in participating in the development of state-owned energy resources.

A number of these projects have required Congressional authorization and/or oversight and he has participated actively in that process. He has also dealt with the Congress and cognizant agencies in the development and administration of laws affecting the projects he represents, including the laws which authorized the above-reference projects as well as NEPA, the Clean Air and Water Acts, AHERA, RCRA, CERCLA and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Arbuckle was a co-founder of the Institute and the Blueprint 2025 advocacy initiative. He has been particularly active in the leadership of those organizations since Norman Anderson’s untimely passage.


  • Lead counsel in establishment of legal regimes for siting, licensing, construction and operation of some of the largest infrastructure projects in US history, including the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline System; the successful competing application for authorization to build and operate the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, the Nation’s only Deepwater Oil Port and its supporting infrastructure, including recent modifications to permit bi-directional operation.
  • Counsel to National Public Utilities and Energy and Manufacturing companies on a broad range of issues including Operation of Coal Fired Power Plants, Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Waste Storage facilities, Mines, Smelters and Steel mills.
  • Competing claims of U.S., French, German and Japanese consortia regarding rights to mine portions of the seabed in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Numerous international projects, including an integrated steel mill in Korea, ports in Pakistan, shipbuilding in Japan and elsewhere, airlines, airports, ports, pipelines and oil and natural gas exploration and production.
  • Counsel to gas and oil pipeline companies in the development and implementation of operations and integrity management plans and programs. Lead defense counsel in numerous cases involving regulatory responses to incidents involving accidents and pipeline failures.
  • Representation of a non- profit Institute and affiliated knowledge development companies to promote innovation and efficiency in maintenance, modernization and upgrading of cutting-edge infrastructure systems for the U.S., U.S. States and Communities and Allies.
  • Representation before the Congress in connection with cutting-edge infrastructure legislation such as the TAPS Act, the Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act, the Deepwater Port Act, OCSLA, SMCRA and others.
  • Advice to Congressional committees and members, States, Communities and Companies regarding the impact of recent legislation and proposals such as the CARES Act, Rescue Act, the American Jobs Plan and the Innovation and Competition Act.

Elizabeth Ames Coleman

“Strategic planning, based on purposeful prioritization and accurate communication of client goals is a hallmark of effective representation.”

The Honorable Elizabeth Ames Coleman has been involved in the energy industry for decades, both in her private capacity working in a family-owned oil and natural gas exploration company in San Antonio, Texas, and as an elected official.  In 2006, after serving as a member in the Texas House of Representatives, she was elected statewide to serve on the prestigious Texas Railroad Commission.  Originally created in 1891 to regulate the rail industry in Texas, the Railroad Commission began regulating the drilling and production of oil in the early 1900s and is now recognized internationally for its common-sense regulation of oil and natural gas E&P companies operating in Texas, the top producing state in the US.  Along with oil and natural gas, the Commission oversees the permitting and safety of intrastate pipelines, coal mining and reclamation of abandoned mines, in-situ uranium test wells, and natural gas utility companies. It no longer regulates the rail industry, despite the name.

A two-time Chairman of the Railroad Commission, Elizabeth ensured that energy production companies followed safety and environmental best practices in their drilling and production practices including hydraulic fracturing water stewardship, produced water management, and waste disposal to protect Texas’s natural resources. During her tenure in elected office, she worked closely with energy industry senior management, the legislature, and the public to balance the needs of all stakeholders resulting in a vibrant energy industry for the benefit of Texas citizens and the nation.

After leaving public office, Elizabeth served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Dallas and Washington DC offices of international law firm, Squire Patton Boggs LLP from 2013-2015.  She joined EnergyNorthAmerica LLC, a Mississippi company and works with energy clients throughout the mid-continent region of the US and internationally. Drawing upon her regulatory and private experience and her personal relationships among multi-national and independent energy producers and among colleagues, Elizabeth assists clients in strategically prioritizing and communicating their goals as they seek to build relationships of their own in all aspects of the energy from upstream production to the export of crude oil and natural gas.  Elizabeth is known for her very public and strong support of the nation of Ukraine and her people. 

Jack Coleman

“We are at a critical point in determining the adequacy and efficiency of permitting processes for major infrastructure facilities.”

W. Jackson (Jack) Coleman is the founding Partner and General Counsel of EnergyNorthAmerica LLC. Jack has worked for more than 30 years in the energy and natural resources field, from senior legal and executive positions in the Executive Branch and in the Congress to the private sector at the D.C. law firm, Arent Fox LLP, and his legislative and regulatory consulting work at EnergyNorthAmerica LLC.

He was General Counsel of the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources and, prior to that, was the Energy and Minerals Counsel for the Committee. As such, he was the leading legal expert in the House of Representatives on energy and power on public lands, including oil and gas production onshore and offshore, renewable power, power transmission and pipeline issues. Jack was a primary author and negotiator of many provisions included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and worked with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and their staff, to pass other significant legislation, including the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act (DOER) in 2006.

Jack began his career in government as an active duty Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, primarily at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Jack earned two U.S. Army Commendation Medals for performance of his duties.

After completing four years of active duty, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be the chief of staff for the Associate Administrator, an Assistant Secretary-level official over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce. Jack’s work at NOAA was recognized by his being selected by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management as one of the “Top 40 Managers Under 40” in the U.S. Government, including one of the top 8 in administration.

After his service at NOAA, Jack headed the national trade association of government service contractors, the Contract Services Association, for two years. While at the association he almost tripled its membership and revenues.

Jack served at the U.S. Department of the Interior for a total of 14 years. He was the Senior Attorney for Environmental Protection and in that position was the lead environmental attorney and NEPA expert advising the Department of the Interior’s Office of Environmental Affairs. For this work, Jack was the recipient of a Special Commendation from the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice.

He also served in the position of Senior Attorney for Royalties and Offshore Minerals where he was the lead attorney for the Department on litigation in multiple cases before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and he was the lead attorney for offshore energy production in Alaska, California, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and, at times, the remainder of the Gulf of Mexico.​

Willis J. Perry

“We take pride in serving client needs throughout all aspects of federal and state government. “

Willis J. Perry brings over 30 years of expertise in strategic business consulting and government relations with particular experience and deep ties in West Virginia and throughout the Appalachian Region and in Washington, DC. Bill has developed government relations programs for a variety of clients in healthcare, energy, insurance and entertainment.

Mr. Perry has developed and implemented strategies for marketing products, projects and services to government agencies, building relationships with government officials and legislators, dealing with regulatory requirements and negotiating contracts.

Perry’s prior work included key roles in higher education at the community, baccalaureate and graduate level. He was a Senior Associate at the U.S. Department of Education and subsequently, appointed Deputy State Superintendent of Schools in West Virginia.

As the Senior Research Associate, Office of Educational Research and Improvement for the U.S. Department of Education, Bill helped coordinate the research, writing and publication of the first national report on rural education and worked to stimulate the formation of policy concerning rural education. He also coordinated the research and development agenda for rural education and represented the Office of Educational Research and Improvement on the Interagency Subcommittee on Rural Education. He was a founding member of the Southern Rural Education Association to promote the concerns of the rural south and served as the West Virginia representative on the SREA board. Over the last 15 years, Perry has served as a consultant to campaign organizations at local and state levels for a number of candidates. Perry holds a doctorate from West Virginia University and has published a number of papers on rural education.

Stephen E. Haid

“Effective advocacy starts with a thorough understanding of client needs.”

Stephen E. Haid has spent over 40 years in West Virginia education and politics. He holds a Ph.D. in History from West Virginia University and has taught on every grade level from junior high to graduate school. For eleven years Haid served as the statewide Director of Government Relations for the West Virginia Education Association. In that capacity, he hired and trained a staff that ultimately won polcal race after race and revolutionized campaign strategy and execution in West Virginia.

​Haid was then asked to serve as campaign manager for upstart gubernatorial candidate Gaston Caperton, who subsequently was elected. Haid served as Caperton’s special assistant and speech writer, and Caperton ultimately appointed him as Secretary of Education and the Arts. Haid developed the largest education reform program in the state’s history, which included the highly successful School Building Authority. Haid later served as advisor and speech writer for Governor Cecil Underwood.

After completing his government service, Haid joined Bill Perry to form the Perry & Haid Group, representing clients across a broad spectrum, including health care, insurance, pharmaceuticals and child care. In the private sector, Haid organized and led two successful efforts to pass constitutional amendments. For several decades he managed political campaigns at the state and local level, ranging from House and Senate races to Supreme Court campaigns. He served as a lobbyist at the West Virginia Legislature, and resolved regulatory and inter-agency issues for various clients. Today, Haid is engaged in real estate development, government regulatory issues, natural resources and general consulting.​


Dr. Nino Japaridze

Dr. Nino Japaridze is a leading expert on Eurasian affairs. Nino is a strategic thinker, strong listener and communicator, and passionate about tackling challenges and delivering results. She brings over two decades of experience in global public opinion research with a particular focus on socio-political contexts, media environments, trust in institutions, as well as pre-election opinion and Election Day exit-polls. She is fluent in English, Georgian and Russian languages and brings an in-depth understanding of diverse cultures not only across Europe and Eurasia, but also across the Middle East and Africa. During her tenures at OMRI, InterMedia, Ipsos and Edison Research she has worked for private, public and non-governmental clients, and has delivered strategic insights that guided policies and helped achieve greater impact.

Nino is proud of her Georgian heritage and has dedicated her life to advancing closer ties between the United States and the Republic of Georgia. Nino joined the Georgian Association in the USA as its Director of Government Affairs in 1997 and served two terms as the Association’s President during 2001-2006. Under her leadership, the Georgian Association successfully advocated for an increase in US foreign assistance to the Republic of Georgia. In addition, the Georgian Association advocated for the establishment of the Peace Corps in Georgia and achieved the establishment of the American Academy in Tbilisi, a leading High School institution in Georgia. Nino has also been an avid supporter of the American Friends of Georgia, serving on AFG’s board of directors and its advisory board of directors since late 1990s. In 2022 Nino was elected as the chair of the board of directors of International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy in Georgia, a leading civil society organization dedicated to Georgia’s democratic development and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Nino holds a Doctorate in Politics from the University of Oxford, an MA in Political Science from the George Washington University, and a BA in Political Science from Wheaton College. She is a mother of three and resides in Bethesda, Maryland.

Herbert W. Hecht II

“We place the highest priority on gaining a true understanding of client needs and on providing purposeful client service. “

Herbert “Herb” Hecht ​has had the opportunity to utilize his legal, national defense and security, infrasturcture, environmental law, and public policy/advocacy skills in government, in-house, and through the large law firm environment, gaining a true understanding of client needs and purposeful client service. Following his years at Princeton University, William and Mary Law, and studying International law at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.

Herb became Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Representative for the U.S. General Services Administration during the Administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. At GSA, Herb held a top-secret security clearance and worked on all major GSA initiatives including management of the Strategic National Stockpile, federal procurement, and policy enhancements for the Public Building Service and the Federal Property Resource Management Service.

In government, Herb received multiple merit awards including a special award for agency-wide IT innovation. In addition, He developed a strong defense-related expertise through work with the American Security Council, defense budget analysis for the Reagan “Peace Through Strength” initiative, representation of myriad defense and security clients at Patton, Boggs, LLP, and substantial advancement of national biological and chemical defense policy while serving as Vice-President and Senior Policy representative for anthrax vaccine maker Emergent BioSolutions.